Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pierre Speaks About Thor Books

Today,  Pierre gives us his thoughts on two recent collections of Thor comics

I had fun watching the Thor film when it first came out in theatre. The film was far from perfect,  but it had some fun moments. Whenever I watch it again,  I still get Goosebumps when Odin whispers to the hammer “Whoever holds this hammer,  . If he be worthy,  shall possess the power of Thor”. That or Loki calling Thor “The Mighty Thor” with all the disdain and venom in his tone that only Loki could manage. Those have to be my favourite moments in the Thor film.

So while I had a good time watching that film,  I can’t say that I am a big Thor fan. I enjoyed his appearances in the Avengers comics,  I liked the character well enough,  but I rarely bought the Thor comic itself. So I pretty much ignored the Ultimate Thor comic when it first was released.

Not being one to usually buy a Thor comic, and not much of an Ultimate fan, I saw little reason to even check this comic out when it was first released. But then some time ago,  I saw the Ultimate Thor HC for $12.99 CAN. So I figured,  “What the heck,  at worse I will have some Pacheco artwork to look at”.

I usually am a fan of Pacheco’s artwork, but was not too thrilled since he has been back at Marvel on the Ultimates. But I kind of like some of Hickman’s work as well, so I was curious to check out how well they worked together.

And I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

Despite knowing where the story leads to, there were a few nice twists and turns that I did not expect. There were a few nice surprises in this tale that I enjoyed. And I liked Pacheco’s artwork despite his attempt to be Bryan Hitch sometimes. I prefer by far the approach he had when he was drawing Avengers Forever.

But overall, it was worth it. I would never have paid its original cover price of $19.99 US/$22.50 CAN. But at $12.99 CAN?? It was worth it. To me, the Ultimate Thor HAS to be the one we find in The Mighty Thor Omnibus by Walter Simonson and Sal Buscema.

Yes there were some great Thor comics by Kirby,  by John Buscema/Tom Palmer,  or by DeFalco and Frenz/Breeding,  but the Omnibus by Simonson and Sal Buscema HAS to be the ultimate tale with the character.

No, not the ultimate tale,  that is wrong somehow,  the Ultimate SAGA with the character. Heck they even did a pretty kick-ass job recoloring the comics for the Omnibus itself.

I wonder why that omnibus was recolored and not the Wolverine Omnibus or the Secret Wars Omnibus  or the upcoming John Byrne FF Omnibus?? Although they have recolored the upcoming X-Men Omnibus by Claremont and Jim Lee.

So will Marvel start to recolor all of their Omnibuses?? Or will it be a once in a while occasion??

When Simonson started his Thor run many winters ago,  I was not too crazy about it. I thought his work looked weird, especially compared to some John Buscema/Tom Palmer Thor comics that came before that. It took me some years to get used to Simonson’s work. Heck it’s only when I first saw some black and white artwork by him in various publications that I started to appreciate the graphic approach that he had in his work.

The same thing happened with Mignola. I had to see some black and white artwork by him before I was charmed by his work and could start to appreciate it.

So I pretty much missed Simonson’s Thor run initially and would only later start to get some TPBs of his work. And only once I got the Balder the Brave Marvel Premiere HC would I realise that Sal Buscema had worked with Walt on this run.

So once the Thor Omnibus by Simonson was announced,  you can be sure that no force on Earth would keep me from getting my hands on it. ;) As you guys probably know by now,  I am a HUGE Sal Buscema fan. So it is a special treat whenever I find some tales by him that I never saw/read before.

But this Omnibus is a wonderful book not only because I was able to read more stories drawn by Sal,  but for many other reasons as well. The new more modern coloring fits well with the artwork from past decades. So each page is beautifully drawn and recolored to have the best of both eras. It includes the first appearance of Beta Ray Thor and the Balder the Brave mini-series.

And there are some nice extras at the end. Some nice character sketches,  some promotional artwork,  and some pin-ups.  It is truly a great book. And it is HUGE!! It is like 100 000 pages thick,  okay,  okay,  it is more like almost 1200 pages,  but that still is a lot of Thor pages. I can tell you,  you will give yourself a tendonitis lifting the darn thing.

So the ONE drawback is that you will need to read this at home on some sort of table. There is no way you can carry this around and read it on the bus,  or read it in the bathroom while doing your business. You will need some proper support to comfortably read it. But each pages, each panel will be 100% worth it.

It is a Mighty book that any Thor fan, any Marvel fan or, heck, any comic fan should own. So if you want to be pleasantly surprised by a recent comic, give a try to the Ultimate Thor. You probably can get the TPB for fairly cheap by now.

But if you want to read a Mighty SAGA of EPIC proportions,  then you MUST read what is truly the Ultimate Thor SAGA in The Mighty Thor Omnibus by Simonson and Sal Buscema. You will not regret it. I guarantee it.

Have a good day.


MattComix said...

The only thing that bugged me with Simonson's Thor run was his getting rid of the Don Blake identity. I hate losing that transformation aspect. But that's more of a nitpick than a complaint when put up against everything else about it

I got this as a Christmas present last year. If you want a great run of comics and also don't want to spend money on dumbbells for working your biceps, this is the way to go.

cash_gorman said...

Loved Simonson's Thor when it came out. A perfect time for me as I finally had the income and outlets to get a couple of titles on a monthly basis.

Not a fan of modern coloring or recoloring in general. For every comic and colorist I think does a good job, there are at least a half dozen where the hand of the computer is evident, mixing photographic computer effects (flares, computer generated textures, arbitrary knockouts, blurs) with line-art throw me out of the story.

So, hearing a classic comic has been recolored with modern techniques, means I have to see the printed comic before I make a decision to buy.

MattComix said...

@cash_gorman: The coloring on the Thor collection is one of the better recoloring jobs that I have seen. It's not one of these cases where they took a brightly colored older comics and turned everything into muted tones and pastels with every daytime scene looking as though it's happening at sunset.


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